Why Do Boxers Jump Rope?

When you think of jumping rope your mind immediately pictures a boxer, at least it does for us. There are many videos on YouTube of pro boxers like Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez jumping rope, so why do boxers jump rope? That’s what we’re going to explain today.

Skipping rope is great for boxing beginners and experts so it really is for everyone. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy though and you’ll find that out if you’re new to it.

Body Conditioning

Boxers need to condition the body’s muscles as the sport makes use of the entire body. Jumping rope is one of the best exercises for conditioning as you’re using your arms, wrists, shoulders, legs, and core muscles in one exercise. This makes it extremely efficient.

The fact that it’s repetitive means that your body has to maintain a high level of performance for a long time. This is what helps to get your body into the shape of a boxer.

It’s not only the muscles that get a workout either, your cardiovascular stamina will also improve if you’re jumping rope a few times a week.

Some boxers prefer it to running as a cardio workout because you don’t have the added pressure on your knees. Jogging also focuses on the legs and not the entire body like skipping does.

Improve Coordination and Timing

One thing that beginners need to learn when starting is coordination and timing. This is where jumping rope can be hugely beneficial.

Your legs and feet need to be coordinated with your upper body, or else, you’re not going to jump over the rope many times. As you practice this exercise, after a while, it will become second nature to you.

By improving your coordination, you’ll see the difference in your punches when you work the heavy bag and in sparring.

It will also help you in the ring as your hands and feet need to work together to throw the best punches from the position you’re in. This also helps to improve the power that you generate into a punch.


Boxers with fast feet always look impressive and it can be dazing for an opponent in a fight. We mentioned that jumping rope can improve your coordination between your feet and hands, but it can help improve your footwork too.

Using a speed rope is a good way to get your feet moving faster than if you had a heavier weighted jump rope. That’s why it’s good to own jump ropes for different types of training.

To improve your footwork, you’ll want to push your limits and see how fast you can go without failing. You’re forced to be as light as you can on your feet which can be taken into the ring as you move from one side to the other dodging punches.

There are many types of skipping styles that focus on placing your feet in different landing locations. This is for intermediate and expert boxers because as a beginner you only want to make sure you’re keeping a steady pace.

The video below shows some of the advanced footwork training you can do when jumping rope.

Builds Discipline

We mentioned that you need to have good aerobic endurance, but part of jumping rope is also having strong mental discipline.

Pain comes when pushing your body’s limits and this is the case with skipping rope too. Your calves and shoulders will feel the burn so you need to have a strong mindset to battle through this pain to keep going.

That’s why jumping rope is a great exercise for boxers to become stronger both mentally and physically. This transfers into a professional fight as boxing rounds last 3 minutes each and there are 12 of them!

Even if your body is under a lot of stress, it needs to be able to continue and part of this comes from becoming disciplined by training hard.

Skipping helps you to focus your mind on what your body needs to do to perform at a higher level than your current one. That’s why you shouldn’t see it only as a physical challenge but a mental one too.

Makes your wrists loose and strong

You need to look after your wrists in boxing as an injury to them can keep you out for a long time.

Jumping rope is great for your wrists as it helps them to become loose giving you fluidity in them. This also helps to strengthen them so you’ll be less prone to hurting your wrist when punching.

Your wrists need to be kept loose as they swing the jump rope over your head each time. Like any workout, after a month of consecutive training, you’ll see the difference in your wrists.

Different ways to jump rope

There are many different ways to jump rope, but some are specific to boxing training.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend that you start with the low double-foot jump to get used to the rhythm that you’ll need. Once you’ve nailed this, you can move on and try the specific boxing jump rope styles below.

As you’ll see in the video guides, you can also practice the movement without a rope so that you get the rhythm first.

This can help get the coordination and timing without feeling like you’re failing if you can’t get over the rope.

Basic Boxer Skip

This video from Jump Rope Dudes is the best introduction to the basic boxer skip. Essentially, you’re shifting your body’s weight from the left leg to the right and alternating this as you go.

To start, hold the handles in either hand and have the rope behind your feet on the ground. As you swing the rope, jump and land on one leg then as the rope comes around again land on the other leg.

It’s good practice to start without the rope to get the rhythm right and add it in later. Check out the video below:


Once you’ve mastered the basic boxer skip you can then try the heel-toe jump. This is great to learn as it can help improve your footwork and coordination.

There are three main steps to this jump and these are as follows:

  • Step 1 – heel tap with one foot whilst the other remains flat on the ground
  • Step 2 – jump to shift your feet backward so the foot that just heel tapped is now the flat one. The other foot moves from being flat to toe-tapping.
  • Step 3 – the last step is moving the back foot all the way forward and tapping the ground with the heel.

This three-step movement is then repeated on the other side and that’s it. It’s much trickier than the basic skip so it will take some time to perfect it. See the video below for help.


Being able to criss-cross whilst jumping rope makes you look like a pro, but it also adds a different challenge as a boxer.

It’s more of a trick than an actual style of skipping. That’s why first you need to have mastered the standard double-foot jump or the basic boxing skip.

You need to be able to perform a figure 8 with your wrists whilst keeping the rope coming underneath your body. Here’s another video from Jump Rope Dudes that shows how you can start practicing this trick.

Pro Boxers Jumping Rope

Anthony Joshua


Canelo Alvarez


How long do boxers jump rope?

Boxers jump rope for roughly 10-15 minutes. It’s a good exercise to use as a warm-up or cool down as it uses your whole body.

Some boxers are known to jump rope for 30 minutes, but you need to have a high level of endurance to do it for that long.

How often do boxers jump rope?

There is no set number of times a boxer jumps rope per week. If you’re training six times a week and using it as a warm-up exercise then you will end up doing it six times.

Some will say this is too much and to mix it up with running so maybe three or four times a week jump rope instead.

Is jump rope good for boxers?

Yes, jumping rope is a great way for boxers to improve many areas of their training and performance. Boxers do it for conditioning, improving footwork and coordination, as well as being a great way to improve mental discipline and stamina.

What jump rope did Mike Tyson use?

It has been stated that Mike Tyson used a leather jump rope when he was training as a professional boxer. From videos of him jumping rope, it’s hard to tell, but it’s definitely a speed rope that he is using.

Do boxers run or jump rope?

Boxers will both run and jump rope in a normal week’s training routine as there are benefits to both.

Some days it’s good to have a light run and then an intense jump rope session and other days you can do the opposite. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

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